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Chronic cough: a gastroenterology perspective

Gawron, Andrew J.a,b; Kahrilas, Peter J.a; Pandolfino, John E.a

Current Opinion in Otolaryngology & Head and Neck Surgery: December 2013 - Volume 21 - Issue 6 - p 523–529
doi: 10.1097/MOO.0b013e3283658eb0

Purpose of review The purpose of this review is to highlight recent work and provide recommendations on the approach for diagnosis and management of chronic cough in a gastroenterology clinic.

Recent findings Chronic cough is a burdensome symptom affecting a large number of patients and contributes significant cost to the healthcare system. Recent work has shown that select patients may benefit from acid-suppressive therapy and even surgery when there is true pathologic evidence of reflux disease with cough. However, judicious use and proper interpretation of diagnostic testing for gastroesophageal reflux in the setting of cough is important to avoid unnecessary or inappropriate therapy.

Summary Chronic cough remains a vexing problem for many physicians, including gastroenterologists. It is important that physicians approach refractory cough in a multidisciplinary manner. Future research is needed to better understand the likely central hypersensitivity response mediating reflux-related cough and potential alternative approaches to therapy.

aDivision of Gastroenterology and Hepatology

bCenter for Healthcare Studies, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois, USA

Correspondence to Andrew J. Gawron, MD, PhD, MS, Division of Gastroenterology & Hepatology, Center for Healthcare Studies, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, 750 N Lake Shore Drive, 10th Floor, Chicago, Illinois, USA. Tel: +1 312 503 1693; fax: +1 312 503 2777; e-mail:

© 2013 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins